Don't Look Back

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12: 1-3)  NASB

Have you ever watched the Boston Marathon on the news?  There is much to do about the winner of that race.  Crowds applaud, the face of the winner, in anguish from the running, stops in triumph to catch their breath, this is his/her moment of glory.  The television announcers are excited, the race has been won!  

However, the race is not over just because the winner has crossed the finish line first.  The other runners do not just say, “Oh well, someone else won” and go home.  No, they continue to run toward the finish line.

Invariably there are stragglers, those who finish even hours after the “end” of the race.  Often times, they are folks who struggle with some sort of disability.  I have seen folks with artificial legs, a father pushing his son in a wheeled device, and others who are seemingly running against all the odds and against all reason.

When they get to the finish line, there is their personal “crowd of witnesses” cheering them on to cross that line.  It matters not that they are the last to finish, that it is growing dark perhaps, that there is no “glory headline” for them.  What matters is that they did not grow weary and they did not lose heart.  They endured when all the odds were against them.  Their joy was great when they finished their own race.

What an example for those of us with chronic conditions.  We might ask ourselves, “Why does finishing this race even matter?  Why don’t I just give up?  Someone else has already won the race.  Let us not compare our lives to those of others around us, but rather run the race before us in whatever manner we can, until we cross the finish line the Lord has set for us and keep our eyes on the joy and glory before us.  

Father God, sometimes this “race” seems impossible.  I pray that you help us to keep our eyes on the finish line.  Grant us endurance that we may run and not grow weary, that we may run and not lose heart.  Amen and Amen, Lord. 

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